What is the best hardware firewall available?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Macguyver, Sep 8, 2006.

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  1. Macguyver

    Macguyver Registered Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Hi I have been informed through these forums that I need a hardware firewall to "beef up' my security. I was wondering if you could 'fill me in' about a hardware firewall that meets these criteria:

    *Very effective defense

    *Pretty inexpensive

    Thanks for your help fellas(and gals if any) in da house yo!

    P.S- I've got no fancy quotes or humour for you :)
  2. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    North Carolina USA

    Sorry, you said hardware not software, my fault. Hard of hearing you know. But if you ever need software, the link above will suffice.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  3. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    A custom openbsd firewall built from sratch on a spare pc at home. :D It is free if you don't include the spare pc.

    Or if you are just wanting to install a firewall that simply works on a spare pc, I recommend smoothwall or ipcop.

    If you don't have a spare pc lying around, then I would buy a linksys wrt54gl since I am partial to being able to load 3rd party firmware on it, or a zyxel.


  4. Cerxes

    Cerxes Registered Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Northern Europe
    Very effective defense + Pretty inexpensive = D-Link DI-604

    Regards, C.
  5. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

    Jun 29, 2004
    hi, Macguyver. before you pick a new router/hardware firewall you should check exactly which features you need, otherwise there's a chance when you get it home it won't work. :ouch:

    some things to think about are whether you want to use wireless. wireless features can be turned off though if you don't want it, so a wireless router can be used as wired router.

    also, wireless can be abit tricky to secure. maybe you'd need to buy a Wireless network interface card. Orinoco are good i think, i don't use wireless though so i've never used them.

    maybe you'll need a modem built-in to the router so you can receive an IP address from your ISP, maybe you can just plugin your existing modem, i'm not sure o_O

    after saying all that, i recently bought a new hardware firewall and decided which one to get by the way it looked when i got to the shop :D i got a netgear, it looks great :cool:

    if you have two computers and are going to use a wired network you might need to get some ethernet cable to connect them to the router (cat 6 cable). ethernet is the protocol used over a wired Local Area Network, wireless uses 802.11

    if you need to look up some of the terminology, then webopedia and wikipedia are very good

    btw, if you want a secure computer then Linux is great and completely free too- it's very secure. this is how i'd compare Windows and Linux in gerenal terms. Windows needs alot more looking after day to day - cleaning temp folders, defragging, antivirus/trojan/spyware programs (having to update every day), disabling services and features which left alone are dangerous. you need to really understand what's running on Windows to be able to protect it. Linux has none of that, and if i'm truthful it's alot easier to setup too, that's if you pick a GUI based one. there are text based versions which are difficult to setup.

    the only downside i can think of with Linux is installing programs. it can be difficult sometimes. but, if you use Ubuntu (a version of Linux) it has just about 19,000 programs which are listed and described on the computer the programs will be downloaded, configured and installed automatically for you if you want one. also, people have problems configuring their modems with Linux, but a new router will fix that :cool:
  6. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    How does Smoothwall compare to the hardware firewalls?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2006
  7. khazars

    khazars Registered Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
  8. smith2006

    smith2006 Registered Member

    Mar 28, 2006
    I am using a Linksys Router, it has a SPI Firewall.

    Good value for money!:D
  9. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Registered Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Assuming you just want to plug and go, get an inexpensive router. The specific things that I'd pay attention to are:
    • Do you want to take advantage of some of the extended features available from 3rd party firmware? If so, make sure you purchase a supported unit. Pay attention to the specific version with Linksys WRT54G/GS routers (you'll really want a WRT54GL in all likelihood).
    • Find a test that quantifies routing performance. You don't want the router to be a bottleneck. That's unlikely to be an issue today with most units, but look for some future growth potential. See, here for example.
    • Personally, I'd get a wireless unit even if you are not planning to use that capability now.
    • Personal favorites are:
      • ZyXel ZyWall series:the new ZyWall 2 Plus looks rather good. Don't confuse it with the Zywall 2 which is now a discontinued unit on deep discount, unless you want something quite inexpensive ($40 on clearance at buy.com now)
      • Linksys WRT54 series that can take 3rd party firmware
      • Buffalo Technology WHR-G54S and WHR-HP-G54 routers (I have a number of these running dd-wrt firmware)
  10. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

    Apr 25, 2005
    Along the Shorelines somewhere in New England
    "What is the best hardware firewall available?"
    and "Pretty inexpensive" don't go in the same sentence. The best hardware firewalls are going to have a couple of numbers in front of the comma in their price tag.

    For home....pretty much any home grade router will do the job..as far as they are concerned..NAT is NAT, by default they all block all inbound traffic. The differences you'll find are in quality, performance, compatiblity with your hardware and ISP, etc.

    If you like tinkering with PCs a bit...and wish to make a honking beefy router with a few added security features...check out some linux distros like IPCop with the Copfilter add-on, and Endian. Those two are a step above most of the other linux router distros in that they add some really neat transparent proxy features..they scan http/ftp/pop3/smtp traffic for viruses/malware/spam, etc. And they have some extra intrusion detection features through Snort. "Transparent proxy" means all the scanning is done on the router...you don't have to reconfigure any of your PCs programs, your network has this added layer of protection through the plugins, such as ClamAV, F-Prot, SpamAssasin, etc.
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